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Desc:'�If people can�t control their own emotions,then they have to start trying to control other peo
Category:News & Politics, Horror
Tags:John Cleese, 1984, reason, political correctness, regressive left
Submitted:Pillager
Date:02/02/16
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Comment count is 82
Bort
Nobody's taking away your legal right to be critical, John. But people reserve the right to think you're a Limey cocksucker*, and if you find that college campuses aren't receptive to your material any longer the way Seinfeld and other hacks have, maybe you should review your material.

Louis CK talks at length about the Twain character named "Nigger Jim", and he does all right because of what he's saying about it. And the character was never even called "Nigger Jim" in "Huckleberry Finn". He was called "Jim" and he was called a "nigger" but never "Nigger Jim". So Louis CK can still be factually wrong about the existence of anyone named "Nigger Jim" and still get away with it.


*: Sucking cocks is fine, but if you're so desperate that you have to suck a Limey's cock, that's just shameful.
wtf japan
There were no "laws" in 1984.

Anaxagoras
Yeah, I don't know what to think of the spate of comedians complaining about universities. Are the universities right to object to so much humour, or are the students being whiny cry-babies? Hell if I know! I haven't been on a campus in years.

But one article I've read that I really liked that I *do* have enough information to have an opinion on is this one: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-o f-the-american-mind/399356/.

Interesting stuff.

Tough American Bouncer
It is not about legal right, it is about changing attitude (that might in a long run affect the law).

Nominal
"It's not censorship unless it's the government doing it."

Come on, Bort. You're smarter than that.

There's a very real and recent reactionary element on college campuses to shut down ideas and open debate by people claiming to embrace traditionally progressive views, which is a shame because the idea of censorship used to be an exclusively right wing thing.

If you don't like ideas, create your own platform to inform others of alternate ideas. Open up debate with the opposing ideals and maybe you'll both learn in the process.

Or just ask yourself "What Would Binro Do" and just say, "Fuck her, and fuck him."


(and we're calling John motherfucking Cleese a hack now? Seriously?)

Anaxagoras
> If you don't like ideas, create your own platform to inform others of alternate ideas. Open up debate with the opposing ideals and maybe you'll both learn in the process.

Ah yes. The good old "Marketplace of Ideas". Except... the Marketplace has been shown to be dysfunctional again and again. There is a large group of white Americans who steadfastly refuse to believe in their privilege. Hell, there's a large group of Americans who refuse to believe in evolution and climate change, for the love of God.

Until you have a better response than "Let the Marketplace of Ideas sort it out", I think the universities (and their students) might be on to something with this whole "Certain ideas are beyond the pale & shouldn't be seriously engaged with" idea. The ideas of anti-vaxxers (for example) shouldn't be taken seriously; mockery is the only appropriate response.

Old_Zircon
John Cleese offends me by not being Terry Jones.

Old_Zircon
But that said, the state of the academic left establishment is pretty shameful right now and has been holding progressive politics back for a decade at least, between the careerism and the tired, watered down remnants of postmodern relativism, and Cleese may be confused here but he's not altogether wrong.

Rafiki
lol Louis CK stopped doing college shows a decade ago because they were too PC:

"[Louis:] A lot of times young people, they cringe at stuff. Also, people reject dark humour for different reasons. Conservative people reject it because they just have sort of a Christian "don't talk like that" idea. But then the left rejects because "oh, you're being offensive to women or you're being offensive to homosexuals or using off-colour humour. You're talking about race which means you must be racist." You actually get in more trouble from the left for free speech kind of like wild ideas than you do from people on the right. Which is weird.

GM: Just a knee-jerk reaction to it rather thinking what it's about.

LCK: Years ago I did a show at UNH in New Hampshire. I don't do college shows anymore, and this is why. I'm doing a show and I did an old joke of mine where I said, "I read that 80 percent of the people in New York are minorities. Which is funny, because shouldn't you not call them minorities when they get to 80 percent? Like you could take a white guy to Africa and he'd be going, 'Look at all the minorities. I'm the only majority.'" Whatever. So that was the joke. And I was at UNH, the University of New Hampshire, and when I got to the part where I said 80 percent of the people in New York are minorities, people booed me. Hissed. And I said, "What's the problem?" And someone just said, "You're a racist." And I said, "Why am I racist?" "Because you said minorities." And I asked the whole audience, "Do you all agree that that makes me a racist because I just mentioned minorities?" And they all said yes.

GM: And you hadn't even got to the point yet.

LCK: No! So that's really what we're dealing with."

http://www.comedycouch.com/interviews/lck.htm

Bort
"Come on, Bort. You're smarter than that."

YOU TAKE THAT BACK.

So college students don't like Cleese's material because they are, in his eyes, too "politically correct". Being unfavorably received by university students is less consequential than ever, at least as far as guest speakers like John Cleese go. He can get his message out just fine if he so chooses; this video is proof. There's no censorship going on.

I am lumping Cleese in with hacks, not because he is necessarily a hack, but it sounds like he shares the hack's habit of blaming the audience rather than considering whether his material could be improved or reconsidered. Views that were pretty acceptable 40 years ago may not be so today, and that's something to keep in mind when talking to young audiences.

And yes, to be sure, college campuses are one of the few places where political correctness can get out of hand. If it truly is a case of John Cleese speaking unpleasant truths that college students are too sheeply to hear, then it is unfortunate for all parties. At this point we have only Cleese's word that he had critical (but fair) commentary that the masses weren't willing to tolerate.

ashtar.
I think this whole debate is a red herring. The question is not whether certain venues should refuse speakers if those speaker's views/acts are offensive. Obviously, Hans the Racially Pure Ventriloquist and Hymie the Wandering Jew puppet should be shunned. The question is not "should we draw a line somewhere," but rather "where should we draw the line." I think people change the subject to censorship/freespeech/marketplaceofideas in order to avoid having to justify their position on where the line of acceptability should be drawn.

Xenocide
Here's what this boils down to: Seinfeld, Cleese, and other aging comedians can't fathom why people a third their age don't find them funny.

It can't possibly be that humor is subjective and based on experience, and maybe college kids born in the late 80's just aren't going to relate that well to the humor of someone born during World War II. Nah, it must be creeping fascism.

Basically, this whole non-controversy is about baby boomer comedians who are so incredibly self-entitled they think that kids are obligated to find them funny or else society is collapsing.

That guy
This, after all, after every other discussion that's come before, is going to be the hill that Bort and Xenocide died on?

This is the dumbest knee-jerking. Do you actually believe any of what you're saying or are you just reacting on policy?

The entire audience CAN BE the problem, and the age of the artist isn't a good excuse for shit, here.

You're just makin' yourselves look bad.

John Holmes Motherfucker
The idea that John Cleese could be a bigot is absurd. One might as well call Bill Cosby a rapist.

Nikon
> There is a large group of white Americans who steadfastly refuse to believe in their privilege.

There is no such thing as white privilege. There is only wealth privilege. Wealth grants you access to all kinds of special arrangements. Politicians can be bribed to pass laws that benefit you. Banks give you more favorable rates which helps you save even more money. You can hide your money in offshore accounts. You can hire lawyers that can turn lead into gold just by talking to it. You can pay for college and start working without student debt.

If you don't believe being wealthy gives you privilege, try being poor.

Xenocide
Yeah, sometimes the audience is the problem. But the only people complaining about this are middle-aged comedians who've been famous for so long that it no longer processes in their brains that they can't get laughs just by walking up to a microphone and repeating a joke they wrote in 1994.

These are, invariably, dudes who are least half a century old bitching because they can't get laughs out of teenagers. On a smaller scale, the inability to relate to young people is a phenomenon every parent, uncle, and grandparent in the fucking world is familiar with, yet we don't see them (well, most of them) equating it with an evil PC conspiracy to tear down all comedy.

If "the audience is the problem," then what is the problem, exactly? That the audience doesn't feel like handing out pity chuckles? Cleese and Seinfeld can earn their laughs like everyone else.

Old_Zircon
Ashtar and Xenocide are correct re: this being a nonissue.

John Holmes Motherfucker
Privilege is not the discussion we need to have. I'm a feminist, yet when women tell me about how great life is for me, and how I am a master of the universe, I want to argue.

As a white man, I'm not all that likely to be arrested and charged for a nonviolent drug offense. I don't think this is a bad thing. The bad thing is that a black man is far more likely to be ruined for it.

It seems to me that what is called "privilege" is more often than not the way things ought to be for everyone, so why not focus on the people who don't have it instead of the people who do?

Bort
That guy - John Cleese is the person saying that "college students not liking his material" equals "totalitarian world where all human liberties are eliminated in service to the state". We know he's saying this because he's using a service that allows him to say virtually anything he wants to every location with an Internet connection and it doesn't cost him a dime.

Yep, I can totally hear those jack boots a-tromping.

animegurl1000
Re: aging comedians coming up with excuses as to why nobody finds them funny anymore.

If there's one innate fear that our species will never lose, it's the fear of becoming obsolete and irrelevant. John Cleese, Jerry Seinfeld and the like are spouting a version of the "When I was your age, we did things like this and we LIKED it that way!" and "This new generation will be the doom of us all" rants that most people will go on at some point as they get older.

That guy
Bort-
He says:
"...then as far as I'm concerned, we're living in 1984."
So you also don't recognize hyperbole when you hear it?
What other common rhetorical devices are lost on you?

Nominal
Jesus christ Bort. Is this a bit? This is a bit, isn't it? Something you worked on with EvilHomer where you're now a literalist in every thread?

Nominal
The line should be drawn at Jeff Dunham, obviously.

Bort
Oh I get it -- Cleese is comparing university speaking engagements to "1984" without any similarities that would make it a valid comparison.

Even a smart guy like John Cleese says something bewilderingly stupid once in a while, and this is one of those times.

That guy
Hey Bort, there are other options besides
"100% literal statement" and "0% related".

Bort
Not in this case. Where is the similarity to "1984" exactly; where is John Cleese in any way deprived of liberty?

John Holmes Motherfucker
Hyperbole? (jerk off gesture)

John Holmes Motherfucker
The reason why it doesn't come off as hyperbole (at least in the US) is because Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and that redneck piece of shit who declared his gun shop " a muslim free zone" have all been saying similar things.

Monkey Napoleon
Arguments like "they're too old" or "they're hacks" or "they're using 20 year old material" are every bit as intellectually lazy as the hyperbole Cleese is using.

I guess if it makes you feel better to believe most americans aren't fucking dumb as hell, and the subtlety of standing up against bigotry vs censoring people who say things you don't like isn't completely lost on them...

chumbucket
I'll have to try speaking my mind in front of a white background, maybe I'll be taken more seriously.
Mr. Purple Cat Esq.
omg 1984 was soo lame, with the cheesy synth music and legwarmers and so on. Definitely dont want to live there.
ashtar.
*****

Miss Henson's 6th grade class
No way. That hot British chick, whoever she was, went full bush. Shit was awesome. And it was certainly a better movie than "Revenge of the Nerds."

Oscar Wildcat
It's all I've ever wanted! It's a street with a deal,
it's got taste, it's got claws. It's got me, it's got YOU!

Xenocide
Where exactly was the political correctness in 1984? Where was the scene where Big Brother sent his goons to arrest a guy for not using a trans woman's preferred pronouns? Did I miss the part where Winston Smith said "wetback" and a bunch of Party members broke down his door and sent him to a racial sensitivity seminar?
StanleyPain
You don't remember the famous scene?? Where O'Brien says to Winston "If you want a vision of the future, imagine diversity and freedom of expression and bigots being called out on their bigotry.....forever."

Tough American Bouncer
Call me crazy handsome patriotic asskicker, but I am not sure you get some themes "1984". One of the major things as I remember from the movie besides how I could not masturbate to the sex scene (that could have been because I was drunk), was the concept of mind control by manipulating usage of language. That is something that PC culture could be seen doing. Also the whole ideological totalitarianism thing but that might just be me confusing things with Bowie's Diamond Dogs.

That guy
Is this question for real? Are you being willfully stupid with a narrow definition of "political correctness"?

Xenocide
Aww, I had this whole lovely response written and then I forgot to hit reply so it got dropped to the bottom of the page.

I can't believe PoeTV is silencing my free speech by doing this. This is exactly like living in the Empire from Star Wars, and also that part of the Lion King when Scar was in charge.

That guy
Well, I won't criticize your Reply button skills, since those Reply buttons are notoriously wily lil devils.

The rest of your skills, I dunno.

John Holmes Motherfucker
I think I may have spotted the Looney.
Miss Henson's 6th grade class
There should be a separate Godwin's Law for 1984.
American Standard
Boo hoo, stop calling me out for my bigoted speech and shitty behaviors, boo hoo, can't we just go back to when only MY feelings and dignity mattered, boo hoo
Hazelnut
You're calling JOHN CLEESE a bigot?

Shit is getting PC indeed.

That guy
fuck you fuckface

American Standard
We're all bigots. You can't not be. The west is a male-dominated, white-supremacist society.

The difference is whether you choose to become aware it's morally indefensible and dial it back to the best of your ability, or defend it and attempt to ensure its survival.

Hazelnut
You both are digging yourselves deeper you know.

StanleyPain
You cannot revise anything negative about history if it hurts people's feelings, remember American Standard.

Bort
I look forward to the time when 20-year-olds can look at behavior I find perfectly acceptable and they can legitimately identify some way I'm causing harm. Here's hoping I'm decent enough to mend my ways.

Nominal
Are you implying the social, cultural, and philosophical peak that is today's 20 year olds have managed to legitimately point out how trivial stand up bits have "caused harm"?

Sorry, Bort. You don't get to dismiss the entire spirit of the argument with "It's not LITERALLY the hellish dystopia of 1984!" while claiming 20 year olds have scientifically proven that comedians have brought back Jim Crowe and cause cops to pull the trigger when they shouldn't.

This whole point of age being the end all of open mindedness and tolerance is retarded. Anyone who's ever been or known a teenager should know that.

Bort
I said "legitimately" for a reason. They may or may not find some way in which I have been insensitive to someone or other, but if they genuinely have, it will be a sign that society is getting better. It's possible that fairly routine turns of phrase that we take for granted will be better recognized as unacceptably derogatory in nature; it happened with "nigger", it happened with "faggot", I don't assume that it's done happening.

As for Cleese, let me put this in a way a dumb* lame** cunt*** such as yourself might understand. Voluntarily deciding to avoid (presumably paid) speaking engagements at universities because the kids don't like your material has no recognizable connection to a society where you're not allowed to speak your mind for fear of harsh reprisals by the government. That's not a matter of me being literal-minded, that's a matter of Cleese being a little bitch**** because he's not being greeted with the cheers he feels he is due.


*: slur against those who cannot speak
**: slur against those who cannot walk
***: slur against women by implying that womanhood is inherently inferior
****: slur against women by comparing them to dogs as well as implying that womanhood is inherently inferior

American Standard
Acknowledging white supremacy doesn't revise history. It just acknowledges we're very selective about what we choose to remember.

By the way, claiming white supremacy *doesn't* rewrite history to its own benefit is pretty hilarious. Half of us probably had history teachers that insisted the American Civil War was about trade disagreements.
American Standard
Asaaaand that was meant as a reply. Shit.

Hazelnut
John Cleese has done more to mock and deconstruct the myths Britain has told about its own history than you ever will, "American Standard". The hilarious thing is you having the cheek to call him a bigot.

John Holmes Motherfucker
I've never met John Cleese. I have no opinion on whether he's a bigot, and I don't need one. His analogy is terrible.

Spaceman Africa
Stop it AS, you're hurting John Cleese's feelings. He's in the bathroom crying right now and you need to apologize to him

Hazelnut
Wah wah bloo bloo John Cleese said words I didn't like! What a bigot!

Xenocide
Eh, I don't think Cleese is a bigot. He's just being awfully whiny here. Don't worry, it doesn't make Dead Parrot any less funny.

Spaceman Africa
I'm really glad Hazelnut is here to defend John Cleese's honor, without him there'd be nobody else

John Holmes Motherfucker
Bigot or not, he's echoing the rhetoric of American politicains like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who are playing to the bigots.

American Standard
We're all bigots, y'all. Sorry if I'm the first one to clue you in. We were raised that way.

Bort
Hey American Standard, I thought of you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye-XZ4Ukl08

You've got nice pipes sir or madam!

Rafiki
So what is it in John Cleese's comedy that's bigoted? Or Seinfeld's for that matter? Neither Cleese nor Seinfeld mentioned any specifics in their acts or otherwise that people are criticizing as too PC, so unless I'm missing something a lot of people seem to be filling in the blanks with their imagination. The way people are commenting here it's like their imagining Seinfeld is upset he can't get on stage and say, "WhaaaAAAAaaaat's the deal with niggers?"
Hazelnut
Read AS's post above: "We're all bigots. You can't not be. The west is a male-dominated, white-supremacist society. The difference is whether you choose to become aware it's morally indefensible and dial it back to the best of your ability, or defend it and attempt to ensure its survival."

Translation: you're a bigot by default UNLESS you parrot the same views as AS and his friends. Guilty until proven sufficiently left wing.

Adham Nu'man
Well, Kramer did.

Nominal
Original sin and perpetual guilt and repentance: it's not just for religion anymore!

Nominal
Longer answer:

There's a psychological disorder called "High conflict person". Basically it's someone who is only comfortable when they're butting heads with someone. They need some place to spray their piss & vinegar on and it helps them feel better pretending it's in the name of some noble crusade rather than a hollow person who just like to yell.

Do you think it's a coincidence that the Bo News crowd always did the loudest harping about this? Our own WhoWantsDessert? Other NAMELESS current posters who can't stop ranting about Israel?

Chiding derision is their one and only stopping point. It's not in service of some goal of a greater good. It IS the goal. Everything else is just window dressing. If such a person grew up in a Baptist household, they'd be one of those shouting campus preachers. If they grew up in a progressive background, they'd be...well, in this thread. I know the retort to this will be the usual "Liberals are the REAL racists!" but just face it, you're souls who are uncomfortable when you're not angry trying very hard to reimagine yourselves as crusaders.

Has anyone made a single point yet that wasn't some "Bloo bloo bloo John Cleese is old" bandwagon fallacy and heavily implying that anyone who thinks he might have a point would make the world a better place by dying off? Is it possible for you to make a single point free of malice? I honestly don't think it is.

John Holmes Motherfucker
Has anyone made a single point that supports this ludicrous Orwellian bullshit? The fact that you're going back and forth about whether Cleese's comedy is a good sign that there's nothing to this.

I have no opinion on whether John Cleese's comedy is bigoted or not, since I have no idea what he's been up to since "A Fish Called Wanda", and it's hard to characterize him as old since he seems to be nicely plugged in to the perpetual adolescents of Gamergate.

What i have learned from Gamergate is that characterizing any kind of speech as a threat to freedom is a neat way to try to suppress speech while pretending that you're defending civil liberties. Now THAT's Orwellian!

Rafiki
Haha, jesus, you've just legitimized this video. What non-Republican critics of political correctness are saying is that it's a way to try to suppress speech while pretending you're defending civil liberties. But "political correctness" appears to be everyone's activation word and they start yelling, "RARRR RUSH LIMBAUGH GRAAAGH" and assassinating characters and knocking over buildings.

John Holmes Motherfucker
>>Ha ha, Jesus, you just legitimized this video!

Touche! He knows I am, but what is he?

Politically correct is a loaded term, and that's why people use it. Read the YouTube comments. Everybody took this the same way.

.NonRepublicans who complain about political correctness are like nonbigots who complain about niggers. If you're misunderstood, sorry, buddy, that's on you.

John Holmes Motherfucker
But "political correctness" appears to be everyone's activation word and they start yelling, "RARRR RUSH LIMBAUGH GRAAAGH" and assassinating characters and knocking over buildings.

Well, then, by all means, you should keep right on using it.

Republicans started talking about political correctness when they realized that talking about jesus no longer gave them the automatic moral high ground. It's a term dreamed up by people with a political agenda to defuse criticism, and to call attention to someone else's political agenda, and so it automatically makes anyone who uses it sound completely dishonest. Plus, it's been a painful cliche since sometime near the middle of Reagan's first term.

And now they're kicking it into high gear. The Republicans and youtube reactionaries and even south park have started talking about how politcal correctness is a threat to our freedom. It's just not true, and saying so is reactionary propoganda,

One thing a male feminist knows is that like everyone else, feminists can be assholes. I've had women who are not much more than a third my age disregard my opinion because of my gender. I'd love to have a discussion about openness and respect, but people aren't assholes because of their politics, it's because of their asshole personalities. If you can't talk about these things without resorting to GOP talking points, maybe you need fucking dictionary.

Xenocide
When in Oceania, be sure to visit the beautiful Crimea River.

No one here is having their freedom threatened. People like Cleese are exercising their freedom of speech to make whatever jokes they want, and his audience are exercising their freedom of speech by either not laughing or calling him a jackass.

What folks who whine about "political correctness" want isn't freedom, they want special rights, where they can say whatever they want without consequence, and the people who disagree with them are silenced. They like to see themselves as Winston Smith, but they really want to be O'Brein, the elite Party member who, unlike the rank and file, can turn off his telescreen ("We have that privilege") anytime it says something he doesn't want to hear.
Hazelnut
Irony

Bort
Speaking of O'Brien, John Dolan suggests there is subtext to "1984" that may be lost on us Americans, such as how, in Orwell's nightmarish world, an Irishman has power over an Englishman.

Scrimmjob
When I read 1984 I thought for sure it was going to turn out that Winston was fucking his sister, I was really disappointed when it never came up.

Nikon
No platform is alive and well as a way of silencing dissension. It's not enough to just agree to disagree or ignore others, one must ensure that they can never be heard.

http://www.newstatesman.com/sarah-ditum/2014/03/when-did-no-pl atform-become-about-attacking-individuals-deemed-disagreeable

Cena_mark
I find it funny how the Anti-PC crowd makes the PC crowd out to be pissy language police, when they thems selves get pissy and start policing against PC language. They're really just a bunch of petulent man-children who just want to cling to their juvenile gay and race jokes. Grow up.
That guy
I'd love to see the procon.org delineation of this page.
Two Jar Slave
-1 star because between the length of the video and this comment section, there's about 45% too much muchness here.
Nominal
Not sure if the video poster was agreeing or not, but the description quote is accurate. It's always the leaders barely holding their own sex urges in who rant the loudest about controlling it in others.
John Holmes Motherfucker
As a liberal, I'd love to have an honest conversation about "Political Correctness". There are real concerns and criticisms that need to be addressed, but NONE OF THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN until these assclowns can shut the fuck up about Orwell and the Nazis. Anything that's truly wrong about political correctness is derived from this same kind of shrill shrieking overcooked rhetoric, spurred on, I suppose, by our beloved internet. In the meantime, John Cleese can suck my Biggus Dickus.
Bort
I like Patton Oswalt's take on it: yeah there are people who go overboard, but that's the price we pay for having a society that is making an effort to pay attention to previously marginalized groups.

As far as I'm concerned, John Cleese's video is like living in "Newsbusted".

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